Gen Z designers are popping off on Depop, then leaving

Why Gen Z’s digital thrift store is losing some top sellers.

Interest on Google for “thrift store near me” is higher than ever.

Gen Z designers are popping off on Depop, then leaving

So it’s no surprise that Depop, which is basically the internet’s thrift store and Gen Z’s go-to fashion marketplace, flourished during the pandemic.

Last year, Etsy bought the company for $1.6B. But despite Depop’s rise, some of its most successful sellers are leaving the platform, per The New York Times.

First, some background

Depop offers users an Instagram-like experience:

  • Sellers can easily upload and caption photos of items for sale.
  • Shoppers can scroll through designers’ collections and purchase items within the app.

While the app is free for shoppers, sellers pay Depop 10% of their total transactions plus transaction fees. Those fees are one reason sellers are moving elsewhere.

Another reason is that while Depop may look like Instagram, it ain’t. Sellers say it’s difficult to move beyond a transactional relationship with customers on the app.

So, where are sellers going?

A variety of places, including:

  • Physical stores: Emma Rogue, who sold secondhand items on the app, opened her own brick-and-mortar store for vintage clothes.
  • Online shops: Shirley Tang, who launched her brand ORIENS on Depop, now sells exclusively through her website.
  • Instagram: Desireé Zavala, who found it difficult to engage with customers on Depop, joined Instagram, where she uses Reels to get feedback and preview items.

While it may seem concerning that sellers are moving off the platform…

… there is a silver lining

Peter Semple, Depop’s chief brand officer, says that successful sellers have always used Depop as a launching pad, and that when they leave, it attracts new designers to the app.

Some established sellers continue using Depop to get in front of new customers but diversify their efforts with other platforms.

Plus, there are perks to staying on the app. Five lucky sellers got to put their designs on display for a massive digital audience thanks to Depop’s recent collab with “The Sims 4.”

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Topics: Depop

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